The uninformed public always assumes writing high quality articles and summaries is easy. Well it isn't. The SBWI staff tried to find a solution for the lack of writers by employing an infinite number of monkeys. According to a Sirius Corporation, these monkeys would finally come up with a great article, if they had enough type writers and time. It didn't work out, we now have a new version of Hamlet, a tomato and 70 litres of mead, but nothing useful for the write up. Sigh...
Review: Sunday's Wars
Sunday featured, surprisingly, two wars. The first one was between Los Reyes Del Mambo Evolutions, known for their Zerg dominated line-up, and the Avatars of Victory, which is basically a horde of players standing in the shadow of the talent that Glioburd is. No seriously, AoV is the team which hopefully will produce a number of new stars.
The very first match was played on Oxide between LRM's Bakuryu and AoV's Poetic, a Zerg vs. Terran. This game was somewhat standard in the terms of ZvT; it basically means that Bakuryu opened with mutalisks, tried to harass, but had a hard time to do serious damage to Poetic's bio forces. Poetic was able to defend relatively well and gained small advantages in the following minutes. Eventually Bakuryu wasn't able to secure a third gas over a longer period and thus lost the game. LRM 0 - 1 AoV.
In the second set between trutaCz and MortiCian we saw another ZvT on Colosseum II. It started a lot more aggressive, as LRM's Zerg tried to Sunken rush his opponent - who was barely able to defend. MortiCian went for Vultures, but couldn't get into his enemy's base, who already prepared a Mutalisk follow up. Terran tried to drop, but couldn't do a lot of damage. The incoming mutas were enough to even the score: 1-1.
The game between Sziky and Glio was rather one sided, as the foreign king surprisingly lost to the Hungarian Zerg; on Sunday the Frenchman's macro wasn't enough, Sziky secured a 2-1 lead for LRM.
On the fourth set on Overwatch Bonyth, a really oldschool Protoss from Poland, went up against the Dutch Sabas, one of the new faces of AoV. Well, to sum it up, it was another fairly standard PvZ, in which the Protoss was simply a few steps ahead the entire time. Also relatively one sided and a 3-1 for LRM. On the bright side - at least AoV's players aren't scared to take on the big names.
The fifth set was played on Tau Cross between the two Protoss Wallace and Entaro. Wallace is the only relatively unknown player for LRM, the same goes for AoV's Entaro. While Entaro played rather sloppily in the first war, he stepped up his game a little in his match against his Bulgarian opponent. The game was relatively tense, we saw a Shield Battery and Entaro pushing back Wallace's fierce opening. Over time, however, the ever industrious Wallace won most skirmishes with slight advantages and brought LRM the 4-1 victory. If the trend continues, Entaro will take down a good player next week. I believe, go Entaro!
In theory, the second war could have featured a vast number of legendary players and unknown variables - take iwL's GameZZZ, Biggus or Ramms. In before anyone's blood pressure goes up, here's a huge spoiler: They did not play. The same goes for PsB's FengZi. For now, DraW is correct. We all hope he will be wrong in the near future.
Personally, I was still hyped for the first set, as vOddy (T) and infamous Justice (T) played on Oxide. Both are up and coming players, and even though the game would end badly, the Russian might turn it around and enlighten us with his views on lag, racial balance or the role of a telephone calls during games. None of this happened. Justice went for an aggressive opening involving Wraiths, did a bit of damage against vOddy's Fast Expansion, but not nearly enough. He was thrown back and both prepared to turtle. A long, long Terran vs. Terran as slow and tense as sex between spiders or Japenese. Until vOddy dropped Justice's main after around thirteen minutes and decided the game. How disappointing. No gg, 1-0 lead for PsB.
The second set was a Zerg mirror between PsB's Cute and iwL's SacreD. The German BW Skype Group had this to say:
TEH: the best thing about ZvZ is that's it's over very fast
EnjoYme: the best thing about ZvZ is that a Zerg dies
TEH: that's even better
vOddy wrote this: ZvZ made me quit playing Zerg
2-0 for PsB after a few minutes of ling vs ling on Colosseum II.
In the third set on Outsider we saw another Swede for PsB (Splax, Protoss), who had to face Hungarian ex-Templar Ace. Ace was going for a lot of Hydras, while Splax had a hard time to defend against it. Over time Ace burrowed a few Lurkers in front of Splax' choke and outmacroed him. 2-1, the first set for iwL.
Next up was Inf3cted for PsB vs. Artanis (P) for iWL on Overwatch, one of these fantastic new maps. Artanis did not experiment in the opening, was then outmacroed like hell and eventually lost. Seriously though, the mini map was covered in creep. 3-1 for PsB.
Tau Cross featured the third PvZ in a row, as Canadian DragOn faced Russian Fenito. Fenito relied on his bread and butter opening, DragOn did too. It seemed as if DragOn had the game right off the start, as he ate tons and tons of Fenito's overlords with his Corsairs, while Fenito's massive number of Hydras decided to wach and eat popcorn. When DragOn secured his third an prepared for a push with a supply advantage of fifty, it really had to be over. However, Fenito didn't cave and somehow completely smashed the push, despite the big disadvantage. Russian Zerg, huh. Then he overdid it and tried to brute force the Canadian's third, which didn't pay out. In the end it was a 4-1 for PsB.
Preview: Week 4
Week four will feature iFU vs. LaGFree - Russia/East Europe vs. Peru. Last week already showed that the Peruvians under Terror's leadership are no push overs. Meanwhile, the Russians lost to the Eagles, hence they have to step up their game a little bit. But, our motto for this week is "Don't Panic" and who better as symbol for this than Marwin? Please iFU send out Marwin! We want Marwin! Maybe against Terror.
The second war will be the Eagles against intrinsic Motivation aka. iM, the guys with the most unlikely logo ever. My theory for today is that their logo was done while the Heart of Gold was in hyper drive and simply never got back to normality. It could be a transformed Penguin or a guy with too many limbs. Anyway, we're expecting a lot of great players coming from the Eagles, such as skzlime, DRaW or maybe their secret weapon: Pez himself.
SBWI Cybernetics Corporation's Presents
The SBWI tries to improve your experience by upgrading their coverage cybernetics: they invented a new generation of Siruris Cybernetics Corporation robots, with the new GPP (Genuine People Personalities). It's ghastly.
First and foremost, our caster team tried to include a remote controlled secret person to observe the game for them. This was done in order to improve the overall design sheets and all the fancy stuff, which looked so dashing. We're perfectly aware of what happened with the vision turn on/off problem, so we're thinking of removing the vision altogether. The SBWI staff hopes that next time, the viewers will have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is a pleasure to introduce new features with the knowledge of a job well done. (obviously this is sarcasm and we're working to find a correct solution, sorry for the inconvience)
Secondly, I'm really done with doing LR threads. Seriously. What's the feature anyway. What's the point of doing them? I always forget them. I'm not good with it. For some reason Jaevlaterran insists on having them. There are, apparently, people who think LRs are easily done. Just like inventing a wheel. If you guys are so smart, if you honestly think it'd be easy to invent a wheel, could you tell me which color it should have? COULD YOU? No you couldn't. Anyhow, I am serious about it. I'm not doing it anymore. I'm crossing my arms and sit in my corner, frowning. Instead, here's a new idea: Create your own SBWI LR! I added several pictures, quote any previous LR thread to see how it works!
Third, and that'll be the end, we have new interviews ready. Last time the audience was agreeing, Glio won it. Who'll win it today? The votings for the president of the galaxy are open. Go vote people, vote.
+ Show Spoiler [Freakling] +
Hi, could you please introduce yourself?
Hi, I am Freakling, a mapper from broodwarmaps.net and the creator of Oxide. I also did someadditional work on the map pack for SBWI for this tour. I am a guy living in the vincinity of Hamburg in Northern Germany.
Can you tell me where your interest in map making come from initially?
Simple: I basically have been on and off playing StarCraft since it came out, and as some of you may remember (or can easily find out by looking at any of the standard maps in your SC maps folder) maps back then were just plain horrible.
And I was a bored child with nothing better to do, so I decided to make it better. I did campaigns, UMS maps, and over the last few years mainly melee maps. Most of that has been lost in various computer upgrades and hard disk crashes by now, though.
Map making is terra incognita for most, could you give us a short overview about the current scene?
It's small, very small, but I would say very devoted. Making maps is a complex and oftentimes even arduous task, you basically have to constantly fight the limitations of the game and need a lot of knowledge to make a map that is playable. For example: One of the most time-consuming tasks in making any map ready for play is something as seemingly trivial as having the workers of each race mine at the same rates at different expansions. It's mostly a process of trial-and error, BW pathfinding is just such a terrible mess, workers seem to have a mind of their own, and not a particularly sane one at that.
About the current scene: There was an quite big active scene in Korea before SC2, but their sites and databases, such as Intothemap.com, seem to have disappeared completely. The foreign scene, as far as melee mapping is concerned, has always been concentrated on broodwarmaps.net.
The SBWI uses two new maps for the STL - Oxide and Overwatch. Let's focus on your map - oxide. How satisfied are you with the games so far?
I am very satisfied with them. Combining this league and the CRTL all matchups have been played and players seem to have figured out the map fine. However, the sample size is still rather small and it's probably too early to make a final judgement call on overall balance.
Speaking about balance, in the first unofficial war between LaGFree and sas, skzlime, Lumix and several other Terran players discussed especially Oxide on the stream chat. The terrans agreed it would be very hard, if not imbalanced, against Terran. Surprisingly enough, many Terrans played on the map already. What's your view on that?
It's hard to adress concerns, especially without knowing the exact reasons for people's concerns, or why certain players were sent to play on the map. But in my experience theocraft-based balance discussions always tend to be all over the place. We had some discussions and medium-level test games before the map was picked for the pool and based on that I prepared three different drafts for an update, of which the one that was picked and is being used now is probably the least terran-favoured, though.
Now for a bit about the league itself. What's your impression about it? Any concerns or positive impressions? (games, organization, anything)
My impresion is very positive. Jaevlaterran seems to be a really nice guy and I think they try their best to get everything running as smoothly and profesionally as possible while still being very open to discuss ideas and concerns. That's really all one could ask for.
Ok, so for some more important questions. What's the question for the answer 42? (we now it's not THE question about the universe, life and everything)
What is 6 times 7? Or was it 7 times 6? I think there was a rather longish and fierce war between the two parties who believed in either of those answers at some point. If you ask me, they are both just simplifying things too much and what it really is, is 2 times 3 times 7.
or maybe this is the answer... or the question... or whatever: http://www2.stetson.edu/~efriedma/numbers.html
Who, related to the Brood War scene, would you feed to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal and why? (Blizzard, any player, PHOLON...?)
I know some one, but I am convinced that not openly exposing people but rather feeding them to the beast in secrecy is the way to go... In fact, maybe I already did, are you missing some one? Or not missing some one, who has gone missing nontheless? Well... it wasn't me, I swear!
Sneaky. Any last words?
I apologise for the inconvenience.
Well, so long and thanks for all the fish!
+ Show Spoiler [Wallace] +
Could you please introduce yourself to the audience?
Hello everybody, my name is Mihail and i'm from Bulgaria. My nickname in game is Wallace and I love playing BW.
You're one of the new comers in the scene. You participated in all these fancy yellow starleagues and apparently that paid off. Currently, you're among the "most valuable players" and have a stellar record - any explanations as to why you improved? Special training methods?
Playing in the yellow starleagues definitely helped me improve a lot. I think tournaments are a great way to stimulate players to practice more and aim for better results. I think my first 2 games in SBWI just went well for me and I still have a lot more to improve on, but for now I am happy with the results. As for the training methods, I think watching and analyzing your replays after losing is a great training method.
Thanks, I wasn't aware that anybody would study MY replays. I'm flattered. Let's continue with really uninformed theorycrafting, because everyone does it. What's your thought on the new maps Oxide and Overwatch?
Hahah, you're awesome gecko, that's why xD. My thought on these 2 new maps is that they fit in well into the Brood War scene and they definitely make it more interesting. I personally think Overwatch is a little bit unbalanced in PvZ as it favours Protoss more than the poor little Zerg. As for Oxide I think it is a really fun map to play on, unfortunately I have probably 1-2 games on it so I'm not sure about the balance in the match ups on it.
Wallace Dent and his towel
Right. You're Bulgarian. Bulgaria has a lot of strong Zerg - TechnicS, Inf3cted, Jim, sometimes NeMu - do you really care for Zerg anymore? Or do you love playing Zerg? Can you still cheer for your BG mates, given that they're like... Zerg?
Let's not forget Cosy(bulgarian ZergbOy) too. Hahah well.. I pitty them for choosing the wrong race to play with, but since they are doing well with it I guess there's nothing we can say huh ? I generally love the bulgarian BW community and I support all bulgarian players in tournaments(being the true Wallace that i am) I always cared for the Zerg, because without it would be no fun for the Protoss. PvZ is an epic battle that should never end, it should go on for as long as the universe exists, the God's from Aiur desire this! On a serious note though, I've played some games with Zerg, mainly on practice with iNF3cted who played P vs me and I have to say.. ZvP is harder than people think it is.
That sounds nice. What's your impression of the STL so far? Negative and positive things - mention whatever.
My impression from STL so far is very good. I am just glad that SBWI decided to organise a team league like Gambit's Cup, because those leagues are really inspiring! Fortunately I managed to play in the last edition of Gambit's Cup before it was announced that it's over and I was able to experience the team spirit and will to game more before you get on the stage and show what you got. Uhm I can't think of anything negative so far in STL. The whole league is well organised, the caster's are awesome(special shoutout to L_Master and Hacklebeast), everything is running smoothly so far and there are no problems.
Now for more important questions. If had to convince voters to elect you as galatic president, what would your political agenda look like?
LOL, well I'd avoid making promises to them, you Gecko will be my personal assistant in my political campaign and I will leave all the advertising to you. You know something like "hey guys, Wallace is such a smart and handsome guy, you wouldn't want to vote for anybody else".
That's, well, not that promising. Nevermind. Why do you think protoss it the best race? What makes it the race for men?
Well let's go back in BW progaming history. Who was the manliest progamer to ever play that game and what race did he play ? That's right - Reach! Aka "The Man Toss". Needless to say he played Protoss :zim:
Any last words or shoutouts?
I want to thank SBWI for organising STL and all the people involved with the league. Also I just want to make a big shoutout to the whole BW community that is still going strong and it still enjoys this unique game. Nobody can take our love for the game. And last but not least, thank you Gecko for taking the time to interview me. glhf
Thank you for the interview!
+ Show Spoiler [vOddy] +
Please introduce yourself!
I am Ludvig, or vOddy, a scandinavian RTS, music, philosophy, computer science, and ethics enthusiast.
Alright, tell us a bit about your team, the painful stealthbunnies. How did you find them? Did they find you? Did you want to join them, or did they pay you with trading cards?
I got an offer from sB before they merged with pain, and I decided to join them over LRM, which I also got an offer from, to get more playing time. In addition, Birdie, the team's founder, radiated with pleasant vibes.
In yesterday's super secret SBWI orga group you mentioned you played all races. Please explain how this happened, also feel free to add a super long biography of your SCBW career if that helps!
I started out as a Protoss user because StarCraft scared me, and I was used to easier RTS games. Even with Protoss, however, I was forced to learn to micro manage my units, in order to survive FD attacks, 2 factory vulture rallies, and such.
When I felt more confident in my skill, I switched to Zerg because the race appealed to me a lot, as it allows for a highly economical, yet very aggressive play style, and gives you lots of options in terms of strategy and unit composition.
I found that I couldn't get the hang of ZvZ, because I couldn't play such a low economy game, so I racepicked for a while, but then I decided I didn't want to race pick. It was between Terran and Protoss, and I picked Terran when I realized that you can actually be very aggressive with Terran - you just have to be mindful about it so you don't get yourself killed.
I like all the races too much to only play one of them, and I'll probably switch again in the future.
Some Terrans like Skzlime and Lumix shared their thoughts on the new maps, especially on Oxide in their war vs LaGFree. Both were questioning the balance, they assumed Terran would have a hard time. What's your thought on Oxide, given that you played on it twice, using Terran?
I can see why some would deem it problematic in TvP because of the third base being so far away, but I haven't experienced any difficulties vs either race in practice. By third base, I am not referring to the base with only four mineral fields.
I can't help but see opportunities for Terran in TvP on Oxide, and strategies that work well on that map - even better than on standard maps. I will say that the maps that suit me in TvP are not the normal maps, however - Aztec is actually my best map for that match up.
As for TvZ, I don't see anything problematic about the map. I could be wrong, but personally, I have yet to see how it is such a bad map for my race, and I don't mind playing on it. Skszlime is probably a better player than I am, so I'm not saying he's wrong.
Hear, hear. Other than the maps, what's your impression of the STL thus far? Negative and positive things are welcome.
I haven't had any bad impressions of it. As far as I am aware, everything has worked well so far.
Alright. Now for more important questions. You argued a lot in favour of ZvZ last night. If you had to write an article for the Hitchhiker's guide to Brood War about this very match up, what would it look like?
From what I remember, I was defending Zerg as a race in general, and arguing against the whining about other races without good reasons. I may have thrown in some statements about how the build order poker of ZvZ appears grimmer than it is, and how the better you get, the more you can circumvent it and not be behind in a situation like 9 pool vs 12 pool. But I don't know if I was "arguing a lot in favour of ZvZ".
I'm really not qualified to write such an article, since the match up made me quit Zerg! (E/N: The article would be: "This match up makes you quit playing Zerg")
You said "ZvZ wasn't that bad", I might err though. Also, QED :troll:. Now I forgot what I wanted to ask next. [some time later] Ok. So if you ever had the opportunity meet the inventors of Brood War, which thing would you complain about the most? What would you praise them for?
Even though Brood War is not a perfect game, and could be improved upon, I wouldn't complain about anything. It was one of the very early games of this sub-genre; RTS that merges strategy and skill. StarCraft (and earlier attempts, like WarCraft II) are like a mixture of Go and martial arts. Besides, the way StarCraft turned out was very unforseen and unintended, so complaining about its flaws makes little sense, as they weren't intentional design choices.
If we can't condemn them for the bad parts of StarCraft, however, we can't praise them for the good parts either, since those were also unforseen.
I think they deserve some respect for their underlying attitude, though. They weren't afraid to do wacky things that seem too strong on paper - things like plague, recall, and stasis field; or the spells that instantly kill other units, like spawn broodling, feedback, and lockdown. Crazy stuff like that is great, but a more cowardly developer wouldn't have put them in.
They also tried to create weird and unusual units like the reaver, which needs to build its ammunition, or the carrier, which builds and launches units. Although they didn't have an intelligent plan with all of this (they didn't foresee corsair reaver with good micro, for example), such an approach is more conducive to interesting emergent properties.
Finally, they deserve some credit for trying to fix the original StarCraft's problems with Brood War in their own way. Mutalisks were too strong, even back then without mutalisk micro, so they added a ton of soft counters to mutalisks: Corsairs, valkyries, dark archons with maelstrom, and medics, to let your marines use stim pack vs them.
Terran was really weak against Zerg in general, so they indirectly buffed the marine by adding the medic. Carriers lead to freewins vs Terran in the lategame, so they added charon boosters, and so on.
Come to think of it, there is one thing I would complain about: The maps they made. They were really bad in general, but I can't condemn them for that, because they didn't know any better - but they were also positionally imbalanced. Some positions could get their geysers sieged from outside their main, some positions had bigger chokes, and so on. Stupd stuff like that is just lazy and inexcusable.
We're coming to the end. Almost. One question remains: What's the question to the answer 42?
Hotel 42 is a low price hotel in Central Kalmar, Sweden.
Hotel 42 is a fresh, pleasant, and priceworthy hotel that offers free internet.
That's not a question though. Nevermind, any last words?
Hotel 42 is indeed a question. It is one big mystery, to which the answer is simply 42. Since 42 is the meaning of life, hotel 42 is the meaning of life. I'm going to go on a pilgrimage there as soon as I can.
These are probably the weirdest last words for now. Anyhow, thanks for your time! Btw, is cancelling an egg abortion?
I don't see how it isn't.
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Writers: GeckoXp and Quint